36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew22:36-40NIV
A friend of mine has traveled extensively and spoken to numerous pastors and church leaders. As a result, he’s discovered there is an epidemic. It seems there is a vacuum in many hearts; the vacuum is often discovered when believer’s feel / sense there must be more to life than what they are living. They may be encouraged to pray, worship, journal, read books, attend conferences, attend church or meditate upon scripture to fill their void. In reality, the vacuum they are sensing may be a purpose deficit.
All inflow, with no outflow, creates a sick heart. You and I were created to flow outward, to do good works.
Eph 2: 8-10NIV
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are saved by grace through faith not by works. However, we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
If you and I are not giving our lives away by serving others… somewhere… we, at our core, are purpose impaired.
The below diagram illustrates:
Everything in life flows from our connective relationship to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Everything. He is the source of our identity. Knowing Whose we are enables us to draw near with confidence.
In Him, we live and move and have our being. Our heart connection is so important. We draw near, and He draws near to us. His promise is true.
All life flows from our relationship with Him. We draw near to give: to give our hearts, to give our lives, to give our worship.
I give my worship because He is so worthy, so gracious, so loving, so forgiving.
It’s amazing… as we give, we often receive. (I personally believe we receive more than we are aware when we spend time in His presence.)
What we receive is a by-product of our worshipful giving. I give my time, I give my life as worship. He, in turn, pours His love and grace into my heart. When we receive, we then have something to give. Knowing Him, I can then make Him known. (I John 1:1-9)
The great Investor invests into our lives so that we are built up, and have something to give away to others.
He gives us love, joy, hope, faith, grace, power, talents, giftings, gifts, and passions for others.
As I make Him known, through active love and service, He in turn, gives something back… a sense of destiny, a sense of purpose, a sense of fulfillment.
It’s in the very act of giving, laying our lives down for others we receive. We receive encouragement when someone is genuinely encouraged and cared for through our service. We also can sense God’s favor as we give away what we have received. When we bless others, we are blessed.
My friend Shana has a new photography business. She decided to dedicate 10% of what she earns to help people in need. Yesterday, she went shopping for groceries and toiletries. She then headed up to Trotwood to deliver the groceries and supplies to women in crisis. She stayed awhile encouraging the women and children.
Here is a snippet of her story.
“There are days when my envy for what others have makes it hard to breathe and others when my heart aches for what others do not. Every day I work hard to be a humble servant, putting others ahead of myself in my relationships and in my business. All the money in the world would mean nothing to me if I couldn’t help others.
Today was hard and beautiful all in the same, I was able to gift a car full of groceries to the Mustard Seed Foundation in Trotwood, a home for teenage mothers. These girls are facing challenges on so many levels and I am so thankful this home exists. I was greeted with warm smiles and big hearts and I left behind a little goodness and grace.”
Her passion intersects with God’s purpose.
Her passion:To care for people. Her purpose:Release her creative gifting to care for others, both in her chosen profession as a photographer and giving to people in need.
Guess where her tank is filled? Shana’s life passion is connected to her life purpose. She genuinely cares for her clients and for the people in need in her community.
My wife teaches literacy enrichment.
Her passion:Child development. Her purpose:Teaching literacy.
She wants to love the kids as Jesus loves. She has done this well. She is loving, creative, joyful, kind and open hearted. Guess what? Kids love being with her. Her love for Jesus overflows in creative teaching.
Note: Both are not “full time” church workers. They are full-time Jesus followers.
Where does your passion intersect with God’s purpose?
Together:A Missional Community.
When we, together, worship, love, serve and care for others we become a missional community; a community on mission.
I’ve heard it stated, “If you pursue community you may develop community, but you may not be on mission. However, if you(all ya all), as a group of people, pursue mission you will form a community.”
Upward:Give. Give thanks and praise for what He did in you and through you and through… all ya all. Community on Mission=Missional Community.
While in England preparing before a meeting I wrote, page, writer, stuck.
In the meeting I asked if anyone was in the room named Paige, not a common English name. The Paige person didn’t show a hand. I told everyone that I was practicing and sometimes I get things mixed up, or I am just wrong.
I had a word for a girl and I asked her to stand. The word was about dreaming a new dream and she was in process of moving into the dream. I later found out she was moving into developing some strategy for their group. I received the word for her because I saw a girl that day who looked like her and had “dare to dream” tattooed on her neck.
When she stood, there was suddenly an amazing flow of Jesus love for her. Seems she uses Mac to write her poetry, songs, on… pages. She felt stuck. Some who knew her were laughing and crying as I spoke over her. She was crying and laughing. it turned into an impartation and a very encouraging word to her for what was ahead.
There was a sudden shift in the atmosphere and I knew I had tapped into Jesus’s heart for the people in the meeting. A few other encouraging words flowed.
Later, the dream girl came up to me and told me her middle name was Paige. So, Paige, dream girl, was sitting next to the writer who was stuck. How good is that? Bye the way, they had traveled the longest to get to the meeting.
I also, found out the writer had written and presented some pretty amazing poetry in the church. Which, when presented was powerful, not just in the writing, but how she presented her poetry.
Scotland, prophetic was also flowing again.
I found myself moving down a intuitive prophetic path as I was speaking and suddenly knew, “Oh know( it was an… oh know) I knew spoke too fast and too far.” If you’ve been doing this for awhile you will know that feeling of how do I correct myself in this situation. I had to back up, apologize and reminded the person of the first part which was the main Father’s love connection.
Yesterday, I emailed the person and asked for forgiveness.
Shawn Boltz book Translating God is so helpful. I’ve read it twice so far.
The book has a section about being accountable for our words, attitudes, actions. He encourages the reader, when we give direction, times, or dates to track what we have said and see if what we have said comes into being. If not, then we may have some cleaning up to do. He encourages people to have self-awarness, to be emotionally intelligent and to ask for honest feedback. John Paul Jackson was the forerunner of this concept and made moves to establish this in the prophetic movement.
So glad I asked the leaders for feedback. I knew in my knower I was heading in the wrong direction. Self correction, is so important.
Joel Menken Imagine Media Facebook did an amazing job videoing and 3D photo of Overtounhouse.com.
Use Crome and this link https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=LKm2aTYeep3
a 3D rendering of a castle we shot.
I think churches will begin to use this as a virtual window for websites. Cutting edge technology. If you are in the Dayton Area grab Joel. He’d be glad to give you a price for your business, church etc.
Here is a short video of my time in the UK.
It’s been a good two weeks. I’m in Warrington, England with my friends Mike and Jane. They were pastors of a church I helped plant in Scotland. They sold everything and moved to Warrington a few years ago to plant a new generation church called Oasis.
Oasis is amazing. I love the energy, the way people are encouraged, and how they reach out to the community. Many of the people who now attend were reached, met Jesus, were then baptized, now are disciples and function as band members, creative arts people, outreach participants or serve in other ways.
One of my Bible college professors stated, “If a principal works in any culture it’s God. If the principle doesn’t work in any culture, it’s probably American.”
Serving their city works.
Oasis serves the community mainly through acts of kindness. They have served the people of the city from day one. In this culture nothing is free, and there is always a catch. When people receive a small gift, a coke on a hot day, a small bag of treats, or chocolate to celebrate Warrington people are impacted. The simple acts of kindness reaches the heart. They ask questions. Many receive prayer. Some meet Jesus then begin to attend Oasis.
We’ve gone out to the main shopping area in the town center. As we’ve served more than one person asked, “What’s the catch?” We were able to share why, have great conversations, and pray with people.
One day the police came down after seeing us serving on CV monitors. Their response, “Oh, it just Oasis.”
I prayed for a police woman. I simply stated, “I’d like to pray for your protection. Would that be ok?” She replied, “Thanks that would be nice.” We prayed for her. Invited angels to be with her. Declared protection over her. We declared she’d have eyes to see and ears to hear and God’s presence would be near her. We noticed her smile, gratitude and genuine up beat response. “I’m protected now. Thank you.”
One lady who had pain in her back was shocked when her pain level moved from an eight down to a two. Most people we prayed for encountered the love of Jesus through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Several people mentioned they would like to pop in and check Oasis out.
They have a family service at 11am. At 6 pm a new generation service starts. This service is mainly made up of 20’s and 30’s. The style is fun, upbeat and has an amazing house band who lead worship. Last week there was a tangible sense of God’s presence as we worshiped.
Since I’ve been here there has been a shift into prophetic encouragement and prayer. People are now stepping into the next phase of outreach. As they pray for people they are receiving insight, knowledge and encouragement for the people they serve. This connection to the Holy Spirit is wonderful to see and experience.
Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson wrote a best selling book The Externally Focused Church. My favorite line from the book. “Good deeds, creates good will, which opens hearts to the good news.”
Oasis … They are serving their way into the hearts of people… Tiz working in Warrington, England.
This is what Pattie and I do. We encourage, and in return we are encouraged. If you’d like us to come to your church or support us in prayer of giving. Simply click Invite Steve or Donor Box link.